Now that winter is officially here, many travelers are dreaming of escaping the cold and sitting on a sunny beach somewhere.
For American travelers, the Caribbean is the perfect warm-weather destination because of the region's proximity to the United States.
And a winter trip to the Caribbean doesn't have to break the bank either.
Based on recent data from Travel Weekly, a couple of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean right now are also among the most affordable.
These are the destinations that are on track to set new tourism records this year, breaking the previous tourism numbers from 2019.
Here's a look at the top trending destinations in the Caribbean this winter:
1. Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is the number one most popular destination in the Caribbean right now — and it's not hard to see why.
This island nation has some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, making it popular with travelers who are looking for a relaxing tropical getaway.
It's also one of the cheapest destinations in the Caribbean for a winter vacation, with round-trip flights from the U.S. for under $300 and all-inclusive resorts for under $250 a night. This helps explain why the DR has seen a record 14% growth in tourism this year compared to 2019.
And the Dominican Republic has more to offer than just its beaches.
The capital of Santo Domingo is growing in popularity and becoming known as a cultural hotspot where you can experience a more authentic side of Dominican life, culture, and history.
Another destination that is smashing tourism records is Aruba.
This island has seen more than 11% growth in 2023 compared to the previous record-high tourism numbers of 2019.
Aruba is part of the ABC Islands, along with Bonaire and Curacao.
It's the perfect destination to visit this winter if you're looking for stunning beaches, outdoor adventure activities, and a cool capital city all in one small and easy-to-explore island.
After spending a few days in Aruba, you'll have no trouble understanding why this little slice of paradise has been nicknamed “One Happy Island” — by the time you leave, you'll be planning your next trip back!
Known for being the birthplace of reggae music and the legendary Bob Marley, Jamaica is a laidback island in the Caribbean that continues to grow in popularity.
It's one of the most affordable Caribbean destinations to visit this winter, along with the Dominican Republic.
American travelers can score cheap flights to Jamaica from 20+ cities in the U.S., making it perfect for a winter getaway.
You can also experience luxurious all-inclusive resorts on a budget in Jamaica, with rooms available for under $300 a night (including your accommodations, all food and drinks, and some activities.)
It's no surprise that Jamaica has been exploding in popularity this year, with 9% more visitors than ever.
4. The Bahamas
Finally, the Bahamas is one of the top destinations in the Caribbean for a winter getaway.
This nation made up of more than 700 islands (thirty of which are inhabited) has seen a 3% growth in tourism compared to the previous record of 2019.
The Bahamas has become more accessible than ever, with airlines like JetBlue and Alaska Airlines launching new flight routes to Nassau this year. The Bahamas are just a short flight away from many destinations in the U.S. — at its closest points, it's just over 50 miles away from Florida.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.